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Stay home if you can, more messy weather coming our way

Shelly Womack
Frozen precipitation collected on surfaces across the Big Country Monday.

Schools around the Big Country have cancelled classes Tuesday anticipating the wintery mix that moved into the area Monday will continue to make travel challenging. Forecasters say the Big Country can expect to see more freezing rain and a chance of sleet. According to the National Weather Service, the temperature will stay below freezing for the next couple of days, and the precipitation will stick to bridges and overpasses. National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick McCullaugh says the region can expect a heavier, concentrated freezing rain and sleet, possibly a quarter to a half inch of ice, "The big thing, the big time were most concerned about is the heavy precipitation, just sleet, freezing rain, little freezing drizzle, that type of thing.”

Monday spots of ice along the roads caused multiple crashes across the Big Country. Abilene Police responded to more than ten crashes by 8 a.m. With harsher weather making its way in, McCullaugh says the road conditions may become worse and many public safety officials urge people to stay off the roads if possible, "If we see that heavier precipitation move in, heavier precipitation then, travel conditions probably will get significantly worse.”

As the winter storm makes its way through West Texas, the Texas Department of Public Transportation will continue to treat I-20, most U.S. and State highways as well as bridges and overpasses. TxDOT is strongly encouraging people to stay home. But for those who can’t, AAA Texas is offering tips for people not used to driving on slick roadways. Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas says drivers should remain calm on icy roads, “When a vehicle begins to skid it’s important not to panic. Just continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go. Avoid slamming on the breaks. That will just further upset the vehicles balance, and it makes it harder to control.“

AAA also encourages drivers to keep headlights on, reduce speed, and leave three-times as much space as usual between your car and the one in front of you.